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Lake life

I knew I’d like him

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Zizania grass – key to Cane River bass

Even before I drove to meet Logan Mount to go bass fishing on the Cane River in Natchitoches a few days back, I knew I’d like him.

That’s because the first time I “saw” him, it was on the stage of the BASSMaster Classic in New Orleans in 2011. Mount was one of the LSU anglers that beat Alabama to win the Collegiate National Championship that year. How can you not like a guy who fishes, wears purple and gold and beats Alabama?  All you Roll Tide fisherman just relax and enjoy your 147 national football titles.

But back to the Cane River. I met Logan and his fishing partner Casey Stephens to catch some Cane River bass and take some photos for an upcoming magazine article.

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That’s Logan, bottom  right

Natchitoches is known for bed and breakfasts, old brick streets, meat pies and Christmas fireworks. But one of its hidden treasures is Cane River. It’s a fantastic fishery, especially for bass. You don’t catch many huge bass, but it’s got loads of good keeper fish.

“Cane River is loaded with bass,” says the 27-year-old from Leesville.  “It isn’t known for a lot of trophy bass, but the population of healthy two and three pound bass is amazing. The best thing about Cane River for fishermen is that you don’t have to spend hours searching for bass spots on electronics or looking for hidden structure. You just put down the trolling motor and power fish down the bank until you find some fish. Then you keep targeting the areas where you’ve found fish.”

The main target on Cane River is the Zizania grass, tall “wild rice” plants that grow in single bundles and huge 10-foot deep fields along the edges of the river, especially in the middle and lower stretches of the 33-mile long river.  There are launches all up and down the river and it is a beautiful place to fish. Best baits are buzz baits, frogs and heavy jigs that you can punch up into the pockets of grass where bream like the hide out. That’s why the bass are there — looking for the bream! There are also large lilly pad fields, tree laydowns and other forms of aquatic grasses that old Cane River bass this time of year.

Mount’s continued love for bass fishing is a testament to the growing sport of college bass fishing and now, even high school fishing.While Mount fished for LSU, many other colleges have successful fishing teams — ULM, Louisiana Tech, Northwestern, McNeese and Southeastern.

“Each year now, more and more young high energy anglers come into the pro scene with that tournament experience already in their back pocket because of college fishing. That means pro tournament fishing is going to be tougher and tougher, at least that’s what I think,” Mount says. “Another great thing about starting fishermen in college is that we learn a huge feeling of responsibility to the sport. We catch fish, release fish and try to catch them again. It’s not just about ripping lips. Fish care is paramount and we preach conservation.”

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A Cane River largemouth.  This one posed for photos and went back in the lake.

 

 

 

 

 

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